Lindsay’s role in health care is one that’s unfamiliar to some. Home infusion therapy is for patients who have an infection that requires long-term IV antibiotics, but not necessarily a hospital stay. “We go to the patient’s home, and teach the patient how to, basically, administer their own IVs and take care of their IV line, themselves.”
Lindsay’s been working in home infusion therapy at Allina Health for nearly ten years now. But for the first year and a half, she worked as a department of one. “It was only me.”
“It was very challenging at times. You know, being the only person to help coordinate everything, and make the medications, and get the supplies, and coordinate the courier, and call the patient… It just kinda showed me what I’m capable of.”
It also proved the point to her supervisor, Jill. Jill is the Director of Pharmacy at Mercy Hospital – Unity Campus. She can describe Lindsay in three words: “At-ten-tion. To. De-tail,” she laughs. “Home infusion requires a lot of coordination. The patient gets discharged from the hospital, the nurse has to arrive, and the drug product has to arrive all in a coordinated fashion. And so you need someone that has that unrelenting attention to detail, to make sure no piece of care is missed.”
Home infusion work can also be a more intimate experience than in a hospital or clinic setting. It’s one of the aspects of the job that Lindsay finds most rewarding. “I had a patient at one point, and she just kinda broke down and cried, and just needed someone to talk to. I was that person. So I sat there for about 45 minutes and just listened to her and just tried to reassure her that we’re on the right path. Sometimes that’s all they need, is someone to talk to and someone to listen. Just to reassure them that things are going to be okay.”
Aside from single-handedly shaping a new department, Lindsay also breaks the mold in other facets of her life. Every Tuesday night, she plays in a pool league at Two Stooges, a pool hall in Fridley.
“So there’s actually two different types of games that we play. One is called eight ball and one is called nine ball. So whereas in eight ball you have a lot more options of balls to shoot at, in nine ball you have one specific ball that you have to try to get in.” But why pool? What is it about the game that keeps her coming back? “It’s something new and it’s something fun. It’s expanding my horizons, just like I did by taking this job. It’s fun. Slightly embarrassing sometimes, but fun.”
It’s a reoccurring theme in Lindsay’s life, her willingness to push herself into new territories and work to master them. So it should come as no surprise, when asked for tips on how to play a better game, she laughs and offers a single word: “Practice.”
Liz Keck is a social worker at Owatonna hospital who’s been with Allina Health for nine years. At least, that how she appears at the outset. To those who know her, she’s more than the average human.